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Stop Making Sense (free)

  • Vilas Hall 821 University Avenue Madison, WI, 53706 United States (map)

The boombox. The sparse stage. The big suit. It's almost cliche at this point. It's been parodied as recently (and expertly) as last year with Fred Armisen and Bill Hader's Documentary Now series. I'm talking of course about Talking Heads' 1984 concert film Stop Making Sense, which is screening this Saturday as part of the UW Cinematheque's double post mortem of departed director Jonathan Demme. (Demme's 1986 feature Something Wild follows on September 30.) This is college freshman dorm room 101 right here, with David Byrne going about as buck wild as his predilection for austere weirdness allowed, and a funky-as-fuck backing band that had started to stretch out on its own as The Tom Tom Club. In the big picture of the band's history, it marks the beginning of the end, in some respects. Their early CBGB days were long behind them, as were their Brian Eno collaborations, and major mainstream fame was starting to take hold. It's notable that the tour that they were on leading up to the filming of Stop Making Sense was their last. As an artifact though, especially one experienced in a theater with an audience, this thing has an undeniable power that is not to be missed. —Chris Lay

Earlier Event: September 23
Sid Boyum Pop-Up Museum
Later Event: September 23
Lizzo, Sophia Eris